Sat, 04 Apr 2020

Overhauled Wings, Devils clash after deadline

Field Level Media
25 Feb 2020, 11:40 GMT+10

The Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils made some alterations to their rosters before their game on Tuesday.

Both clubs were active before Monday afternoon's trade deadline. The Red Wings dealt veteran defenseman Mike Green to the Edmonton Oilers for forward Kyle Brodziak and a conditional draft pick.

They made an even bigger deal with the Oilers closer to the deadline, dealing forwards Andreas Athanasiou and Ryan Kuffner, a minor leaguer, for two second-round picks and journeyman center Sam Gagner.

Green and Athanasiou were late scratches when the Wings lost 4-2 to the Calgary Flames on Sunday, Detroit's sixth defeat in seven games.

While the players were well aware that moves could be made, the Wings played against the Flames with a sense of uneasiness.

"Probably the hardest thing I've gone through right before a game, news like that," said first-line center Dylan Larkin, who scored both Detroit goals. "Two guys that are a huge part of this team, two guys that are huge players for us."

Green, 34, is headed to unrestricted free agency, and the Wings need to get younger on the back line.

Athanasiou, who will be a restricted free agent, has underperformed most of the season after a 30-goal campaign but perked up lately, scoring five goals in the previous seven games.

"Our guys understand the business of this," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "At the end of the day, we've put ourselves in this spot, so we shouldn't feel one ounce sorry for ourselves."

The Wings also added another player, rookie forward Dmytro Timashov, by claiming him off waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Devils dealt forward and impending free agent Wayne Simmonds to the Buffalo Sabres for a conditional fifth-round draft pick. Simmonds, 31, contributed 24 points in 61 games this season.

"His leadership, on and off the ice (meant a lot). He had a huge influence. It hasn't been an easy year," Devils interim coach Alain Nasreddine told NHL.com. "A guy like Simmer really helped everyone keep this whole thing together.

"I couldn't thank him enough. An emotional guy," the coach added. "It didn't matter if he's a rookie or a vet. He's an honest guy, and it was all about being accountable to one another, and he did that really well."

Forward Jack Hughes shared similar sentiments regarding Simmonds.

"A real vocal guy for us. We'll miss him for sure," Hughes said to NHL.com. "He's a pretty good veteran, and we're a young team here. He's one of the guys that has a lot of experience. I wish him all the best in Buffalo."

The Devils begin a five-game road trip on Tuesday after collecting a pair of one-goal victories at home. They downed the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on Thursday and the Washington Capitals 3-2 on Saturday.

Damon Severson scored the game-winner against the Capitals on a power play with 1:59 remaining. Simmonds also scored in his final game with the organization.

"It was a huge effort," Nasreddine said. "We've talked about resiliency for a while now, and another great example of that (Saturday)."

The Devils have won both meetings with the Wings this season by scores of 5-1 and 4-1. Simmonds scored twice in the most recent matchup, as part of a four-goal, third-period onslaught on Feb. 13.

--Field Level Media

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